Feb. 2, 2013
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The iron, as they say, can oftentimes be unkind. Saturday against No. 5 Duke, it was especially unfriendly to the Florida State men’s basketball team in a 79-60 loss at home.
The Seminoles (12-9, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) simply couldn’t make shots on their home floor while the Blue Devils (18-2, 6-2) — now winners of three straight — had absolutely no difficulty in that department. FSU finished the game with a 41.8 shooting percentage from the field (the ‘Noles counteracted a 28.6 clip in the first half with a 55.6-mark in the second frame) while Duke was a staggering 60.8-percent from the field for the game.
The ‘Noles were 23.1 percent from 3-point range and Blue Devils were 61.1 percent from that distance.
The Blue Devils built an early 11-0 lead and never looked back as they watched the majority of their shot attempts find pay dirt. In that early-game stretch, the game-tone was set as Duke was 5-for-6 from the field and the Seminoles were 0-for-5 with two turnovers.
“Early on I thought we both were getting similar opportunities,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “They finished there’s, we didn’t make ours and we dug a hole for ourself early. I didn’t really feel that they’d continue to keep shooting that way and I felt that if we executed we’d find a way to creep back into the game. That never really happened.”
Seth Curry led the visitors with 21 points thanks to 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Quinn Cook added 18, Rasheed Sulaimon had 14 and Amile Jefferson posted 11.
Three days after connecting on his fourth game-winner in 13 months, ‘Noles leader Michael Snaer struggled to find that same shooting touch Saturday. The senior guard didn’t register his first basket until the 15:15 mark of the second half — a 3-pointer that made that cut it to a 55-34 Duke lead — and finished with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The Seminoles had just 11 turnovers and Duke had 10. The Blue Devils won the rebound battle, 27-24.
“[Duke] was able to get the ball pretty much wherever they wanted to in a timely fashion with their shooters,” Hamilton said. “They are a great shooting team. … You’ve got to give them credit. They were able to put themselves mentally at that magic level that has been kind of elusive for us to the point where every time they had an open look and we fought defensively they made us pay.”
Florida State now hits the road for games at Georgia Tech and Wake Forest before returning home for a rematch with Miami Feb. 13. The game against the Yellow Jackets is Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. and the Demon Deacons showdown is Feb. 9 at noon.